On a regular basis, we will have posts here from one of our Elders. This week’s post is from Jason Woodard.
The Pareto principle or what is commonly known as the 80/20 rule, says that about 80% of outcomes come from about 20% of the causes. Some examples of this are that 80% of the problems a teacher encounters comes from 20% of their students! In business it is common that 80% of a company’s sales come from 20% of their customers. But what does this have to do with church? Many have said that it is common that 80% of the work in a church comes from 20% of the people. I have no idea if that is true at Faith Baptist, but I think it is good to encourage one another to be actively serving in our local body as we are commanded to in Scripture.
1 Peter 4:10-11 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God: whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Peter is telling us that we have been given gifts and that we are meant to use them to serve the body of Christ. God has graciously given us special abilities. As we use them to serve His body, He is glorified as the church grows and flourishes through these acts of service.
I have always enjoyed and appreciated watching someone use the gift they have. For instance, think about how exciting it is to see a super talented athlete compete and use the gift they have. Or how much we enjoy watching or listening to a talented musician. We watch in awe as people do things with ease that we could only dream of doing. Over the years I have marveled at my wife’s artistic ability. She has a God given gift to draw, paint, and bring colors together into a beautiful pattern that I do not have. Like good music, I can and do appreciate the outcome, but I cannot produce it. However, give me a spreadsheet with thousands of data points and I can spend hours happily analyzing patterns and trends. We all have gifts and experience that can and should be used to edify the body.
I have made the mistake of serving in areas I did not have gifting for. That is not much better than not serving at all. Over the years I have come to better understand my own gifting and have seen how the Lord will use that in His church. I have come to appreciate and greatly respect fellow believers who clearly understand their gifting and use it to serve the body, but also remain steadfast in not overcommitting and in not serving in areas where they are not gifted. These are the folks who we see serve with excellence and diligence in a few focused areas for long periods of time. They use what Christ has given them to serve His body and ultimately glorify Him through the process. And He blesses them for it.
What gifts has God graciously given you? How can those be used to serve this local body? There are so many ways to serve. Teaching in Sunday school. Helping to take care of the facility and property. Our monthly Frē Outreach ministry which is in need of more hands to help ensure human trafficking is fought against in our community. Nursery workers who love children and don’t mind changing diapers. These are just a few that are top of mind. No matter what your gifting is, you are called to use it to support the body. If anyone is struggling to find a way to do that, just ask a church leader how you can serve! “And He gave the apostles the prophets and the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12).